Date: 23rd September 2020 at 11:11am
Written by: Alan Johnson

Jan Vertonghen was released over the summer, Juan Foyth has been linked with a move to Villarreal and Cameron Carter-Vickers is expected to be sold, so Tottenham could benefit from signing a central defender.

We’ve been linked with Issa Diop, Ben White, Kim Min-jae, Lewis Dunk, Diego Carlos, Milan Skriniar, Ozan Kabak, Ben Godfrey, Kristoffer Ajer, Robin Koch and Guillermo Maripán, but A Bola (h/t Sport Witness) say Benfica’s Ruben Dias is the latest to pop up on our radar.

Rob Guest of Football.London believes we may struggle to raise enough funds in time to land the 23-year-old’s signature, however, as he won’t come cheap and we’re running out of time to get business done.

How good is Dias?

He’s the real deal. Dias has made 136 appearances in all competitions for Benfica, scoring 11 goals with six assists. He’s been a regular at the Estadio Da Luz for the last three seasons and would greatly improve our squad.

Dias is dominant in the air, a brilliant shield at the back, an excellent reader of the game and a brilliant one-on-one defender. The Portuguese international can lay claim to being one of the best in the Liga NOS, so it’s no surprise we’re after him.

As per WhoScored, Dias has won 234/405 aerial duels (57%), created 27 chances, completed 86.7% of his 5426 passes, blocked 45 shots, made 280 clearances, made 92 interceptions, was dribbled past only 18 times and made 114 tackles in his three seasons as a first-team player (excluding 2020/21).

How much would he cost?

Transfermarkt say Dias’ market value is £31.1m, but the 23-year-old has a release clause of €100m which we’re unlikely to match, so it remains to be seen if we can get a deal over the line.

Benfica have no obligation to accept less money for Dias given his deal has four more years to run. We’re having to sell existing players to generate funds too, so how many can we really offload before the window shuts on October 5? It doesn’t seem possible.

Summary

Dias would improve our squad, but I think Benfica will price us out of a move. The 23-year-old is a key player that would need to be replaced if sold, so why would they let him go without the necessary time to locate his successor?

I think we’ll be stuck with Toby Alderweireld, Davinson Sanchez, Japhet Tanganga and maybe Foyth until January.

In other news, could Gareth Bale end his career at Tottenham after leaving Real Madrid?

 
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